Water Damage - Spanish Bath, 2003 by James Casebere
Spanish Bath, 2003 by James Casebere

It is hard to believe that just one week ago I was home, brushing off the idea of a hurricane affecting downtown Manhattan life. Unfortunately I was sorely mistaken come last Monday evening when power, running water and cell phone reception became things of the past. While I did get through a few old films using the battery life I had hoarded on my laptop, once that disappeared I decided to get lost in, what else, my library of art books. Due to the circumstances, I explored the work of two photographers in particular – Robert Polidori and James Casebere.

Canadian photographer Robert Polidori is best known for his interior and architectural shots. You may recognize his work as he photographed Botegga Venetta’s Fall-Winter 2011/2012 ad campaign featuring Isabeli Fontana at the 16th century Palazzo Papadopoli in Venice, Italy. In 2005, Polidori took a trip down to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina to shoot the devastation. His most recent book of work, After The Flood, documents his eerie trip down south (pictured below).

Water Damage - 2500 block of Munster Boulevard, 2005 by Robert Polidori
2500 block of Munster Boulevard, 2005 by Robert Polidori

Water Damage - 2520 Deslondes, New Orleans, March by Robert Polidori
2520 Deslondes, New Orleans, March by Robert Polidori

Water Damage - 1720 Touro Street, 2005 by Robert Polidori
1720 Touro Street, 2005 by Robert Polidori

American-born photographer James Casebere has focused his work since the late 1990s on the destructive nature of water. He has captured images of interior flooding in buildings around the world. Don’t the below photographs remind you of Chanel’s flooded runway from Fall/Winter 2010?

Water Damage - Untitled, 1999 by James Casebere
Untitled, 1999 by James Casebere

Water Damage - Yellow Hallway #2, 2001 by James Casebere
Yellow Hallway #2, 2001 by James Casebere

Water Damage - Spiral Staircase, 2002-2003 by James Casebere
Spiral Staircase, 2002-2003 by James Casebere

Olympia Cubed
From left: Olympia Le-Tan, Olympia Scarry (in Givenchy couture) and Charlotte Olympia

It is hard to talk art and fashion and not mention one of the three Olympia’s above. Each has captured a niche in their specific field that has changed the industry over the past few seasons.

Few pieces are higher on my wish list right now than an Olympia Le-Tan book clutch (pictured below). The designer launched her namesake accessories label in 2009 combining her love for literature and embroidery. There are too many amazing options to choose from but the pieces are produced in such limited quantity the problem is tracking one down.

Olympia Cubed - Olympia Le-Tan
Clutches by Olympia Le-Tan

Charlotte Olympia, AKA Charlotte Dellal, is the queen of footwear. Her designs (pictured below) whether printed or solid, heels or flats are always whimsical in nature and have been embraced by the fashion elite.

Olympia Cubed - Charlotte Olympia
Shoes by Charlotte Olympia

This past September the two British-born accessory queens partnered together for a limited edition Charlotte’s Web-inspired collaboration. The footwear designer created a collection of pumps to go with Le-Tan’s embroidered clutch version of the book (pictured below).

Olympia Cubed - Charlotte Olympia and Olympia Le-Tan
Heels by Charlotte Olympia, clutch by Olympia Le-Tan

The fashion and art worlds alike seem to be enamored by Swiss artist, Olympia Scarry. Scarry primarily works in large-scale sculptures, photographs and performance art and the occasional fashion piece – such as a project with the House of Dior (pictured below) which was part of a traveling exhibition that opened in Shanghai in 2011.

Olympia Cubed - Olympia Scarry

A few more works by Olympia Scarry…

Olympia Cubed - Olympia Scarry
Lara Stone, 2008 by Olympia Scarry

Olympia Cubed - Olympia Scarry
The White Feather Room ‘Kinder Heaven’ instillation, 2009 by Olympia Scarry

Olympia Cubed - Olympia Scarry
The White Feather Room ‘Kinder Heaven’ instillation, 2009 by Olympia Scarry

Atelier Swarovski - Michael Kaplan SS11
Atelier Swarovski by Michael KaplanSpring/Summer 2011

In keeping with Swarovski’s century-long tradition of couture collaborations, in 2007 the House of Swarovski launched Atelier Swarovski. Atelier Swarovski is a luxury crystal accessories collection that partners with a new set of forward-thinking designers, artists and architects each season to each create a limited edition Atelier Swarovski capsule collection. Each season offers a variety of styles at a range of prices all in keeping with the individual designer’s aesthetic. You can shop the current collection online and see my favorite pieces from the last four seasons above and below.

Renowned costume designer Michael Kaplan is to thank for some of contemporary cinema’s most iconic characters. Kaplan has worked on films such as Blade Runner and Fight Club (both pictured above) among many others, and has partnered with Atelier Swarovski on a capsule jewelry collection. For Spring/Summer 2011 Kaplan turned to science fiction and fantasy for inspiration to create cut crystal and metalwork pieces (pictured above).

Atelier Swarovski - Arik Levy AW11
Arik Levy for Atelier SwarovskiAutumn/Winter 2011

Designer, artist, architect and filmmaker Arik Levy worked with Atelier Swarovski on a set of pieces for Autumn/Winter 2011. Levy’s multidimensional skill set and artistic style led him to create a ‘RockCrater’ collection that explored the natural world through jewelry with exposed crystal-encrusted interiors.

Atelier Swarovski - Zaldy SS12
Atelier Swarovski by ZaldySpring/Summer 2012

Famed costume designer Zaldy has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and the Scissor Sisters and has designed two collections with Atelier Swarovski. His first, for Spring/Summer 2012, focused on the form of dynamic concave and convex shapes all made of baguette crystals.

Atelier Swarovski - Greg Lynn AW12
Atelier Swarovski by Greg LynnAutumn/Winter 2012

Architect Greg Lynn worked with Atelier Swarovski on their most recent set of collaborations for Autumn/Winter 2012. He is celebrated for breaking boundaries through unconventional architectural figures and his debut jewelry collection plays with the idea of old and new, setting clusters of raw stones in smooth, contoured forms.

Atelier Swarovski - Hariri and Hariri AW12
Atelier Swarovski by Hariri & HaririAutumn/Winter 2012

Architects Hariri & Hariri’s sensual modernism aesthetic has been celebrated through their conceptual, residential, commercial and institutional projects but never before through jewelry. Their Parametric Collection for Atelier Swarovski plays with the relationship of nature and technology similar to their architectural designs; you will find countless similar shapes and lines when comparing the two.

Atelier Swarovski - Kostas Murkudis AW12
Atelier Swarovski by Kostas MurkudisAutumn/Winter 2012

Designer Kostas Murkudis designs for an edgy, sophisticated woman. For Autumn/Winter 2012 his use of bullet shape settings serves as the perfect contrast to the beautiful colored crystals and beads to offer a hard, feminine feel.

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Cut and Craft
Gucci Cut & Craft Project – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup

This past summer Gucci decided to ‘go-green’ in the windows of their New York City Flagship store on 5th avenue. On display were three of their most iconic handbags – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup – in massive form made entirely out of recycled paper (pictured below). This window display garnered so much attention that Gucci launched a Cut & Craft contest on their Facebook Page. I was so intrigued by this project that I had to have a go at it. Gucci provides the stencils for these three iconic styles leaving it up to the individuals to color and construct. I, however, couldn’t find my crayons so I decided to dedicate each bag to a different artist and use their work as the foundation for each mini purse (pictured above). The Jackie (far left) is constructed using Andy Warhol’s camouflage prints, The New Bamboo (middle), is made of patterns by Ellsworth Kelly and The Stirrup (far right) is the work of Chicago-based artist, Dzine. Click HERE to fashion your own minis and a chance to win a spot on the cover of the Gucci Facebook page.

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Flagship
Gucci Flagship Store, New York City

Gucci isn’t the only fashion house exploring the art of paper, however. One of John Galliano’s most celebrated collections while at the House of Dior was for spring/summer 2007 couture, in which he was inspired by origami, the art of paper folding. Just a few seasons later, Karl Lagerfeld constructed an oasis of paper flowers as the backdrop for his spring/summer 2009 Chanel couture show. Each look in the entirely black and white collection was paired with a paper headpiece, ranging from delicate tiaras to a helmet of paper flower petals (pictured below).

The Art of... Paper - SS09 Chanel Couture
Spring/summer 2009 Chanel Couture

Marc Jacobs is known for providing an ever-present bridge between art and fashion. In this instance, that bridge happens to be made of paper and was part of the fantastical set artist Rachel Feinstein dreamed up for Jacobs’ fall/winter 2012 show. Feinstein collaborated with the designer on the dreary, Tim Burton-esque set (pictured below) made entirely out of construction paper as the backdrop for his fall, Anna Piaggi-inspired collection.

The Art of... Paper - Marc Jacobs FW12
Fall/winter 2012 Marc Jacobs

Photographer and sculptor Thomas Demand is a pioneer in exposing the art of paper. Demand’s photographs (pictured below) are merely the byproducts of weeks spent constructing full-scale sets out of paper and cardboard. His work is extraordinary; especially considering the life-size environments he erects are immediately destroyed after a photo is captured. In the right hands, paper has the power to transform. Now that I’ve completed the Gucci bags it’s time to start work on my dream setting…

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Studio, 1997
Studio, 1997 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Control Room, 2011
Control Room, 2011 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Junior Suite, 2012
Junior Suite, 2012 © Thomas Demand

Will Cotton x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Chris Benz
Will Cotton x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Chris Benz

Each year Two x Two, a noted Dallas, Texas-based organization holds their annual TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art benefit gala and art auction. This year, thanks to a partnership with accessories designer Nancy Gonzalez, fashion is playing more significant a role than ever. Together, the two have commissioned ten of today’s leading contemporary artists to custom design a one-of-a-kind signature Nancy Gonzalez Leaf Tote bag to be sold at auction on October 20th. Matte white crocodile was used as the skin for each tote and in turn the artist’s canvas. Whether it is Kaws’ simple black slashes or Jenny Holzer’s embossed white leather lining, each work is entirely in keeping with the individual artist’s style while still maintaining the integrity of the esteemed Nancy Gonzalez brand.

This partnership gives collectors and fashion lovers alike the perfect excuse to purchase a new piece of contemporary art as well as a Nancy Gonzalez crocodile tote; not to mention it is for an amazing cause. 100% of the proceeds from the evening will be benefiting TWO x TWO for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art.

While I hope the future owners of each priceless piece will never burden them with the contents of one’s handbag, I couldn’t help but peruse the latest SS13 collections to find the perfect accompanying looks for each piece (see above and below). Be prepared to to spot Shala Monroque or Dasha Zhukova sporting one of these bad boys around Art Basel in December.

Jim Hodges x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Preen
Jim Hodges x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Preen

Jenny Holzer x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Eudon Choi
Jenny Holzer x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Eudon Choi

Kaws x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Calvin Klein
Kaws x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Calvin Klein

Dr.Lakra x Nancy Gonzalez – SS13 Holly Fulton
Dr.Lakra x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Holly Fulton

Josephine Meckseper x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 BCBG Max Azria
Josephine Meckseper x Nancy GonzalezSS13 BCBG Max Azria

Richard Phillips x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Marc Jacobs
Richard Phillips x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Marc Jacobs

Raquib Shaw x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Altuzarra
Raquib Shaw x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Altuzarra

Mickalene Thomas x Nancy Gonzalez - SS13 Derek Lam
Mickalene Thomas x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Derek Lam

Lawrence Weiner x Nancy Gonzalez – SS13 Alexandre Herchovitc
Lawrence Weiner x Nancy GonzalezSS13 Alexandre Herchovitc

La Colombe d’Or - Calder
Mobile by Alexander Calder

One of my favorite escapes since I was a child has been La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul de Vence, France. For years now La Colombe d’Or has been my version of what I imagine most kids envision when they think of a mystical fairytale in a far off land. The town of Saint-Paul de Vence, which was once a struggling artist’s community, has transformed into an epicenter for original works by the likes of Picasso, Léger, Caraccio, Chagall and countless others. In short, when some of the most renowned early to mid-twentieth century artists were nameless, they would seek refuge at La Colombe d’Or and donate a – then valueless – work in exchange for food and a place to sleep at night. By way of this trade La Colombe d’Or has amassed a priceless archive of painting and sculpture. Since I was a child I have dreamt of opening the pages of a fashion magazine and seeing a spread juxtaposed against their amazing collection, specifically sculpture. While rumor has it due to theft a few years back, all of the pieces on display are replicas of the real works given to La Colombe d’Or by the original artists, it is still thrilling to feast each summer with our dear friends in the garden amidst a colossal could-be-original work by Léger or a César sculpture.

La Colombe d’Or - Yves Klein and Calder
Work by Yves Klein (left) and work by Alexander Calder (right)

La Colombe d’Or - Léger and Picasso
Grand Vase by Fernand Léger (left) and work by Pablo Picasso (right)

La Colombe d’Or - Calder
A gouache by Alexander Calder

La Colombe d’Or - Sonia Delaunay and Matisse
Work by Sonia Delaunay (left) and Portrait of a Woman by Henri Matisse (right)

La Colombe d’Or - Léger
Work by Fernand Léger

While, as you know, I rarely feature photos of myself on Minnie Muse, I would love to become less camera shy and in doing so I took the opportunity while staying at Hotel du Cap to emulate the amazing Chanel Resort 2012 campaign – specifically Karl’s shot of Joan Smalls on the jungle gym, pictured below. While I fail miserably to appear remotely as graceful as Ms.Smalls, I do feel a bit more comfortable looking back knowing I was wearing one of my favorite suits EVER by Lisa Marie Fernandez. Although swimsuit season has come and gone, I highly recommend you invest in a LMF suit for any future winter getaway. My next purchase will be a simple one-piece like THIS or one of her amazing suits in collaboration (because we all know I love a collaboration) with Peter Pilotto which are both available on Net-a-Porter.

Chanel Resort 2012

Chanel Resort 2012

Chanel Resort 2012

Chanel Resort 2012

Turvey x Ruff

I’ve been getting my LONDON ON with all of the Olympic fever as of late. This constant talk of competition got me thinking of which Londoners would win the fashion Olympics for best artistic inspiration. It was a close call and after many heats here is who came out on top.

The gold goes to newbie British menswear designer Joseph Turvey. I was first introduced to Turvey’s work just days ago in THIS Style.com feature. I am usually not drawn to clothing sporting massive faces, often thinking they serve as a distraction more than anything, but there in an innocence in these sketches pictured above that I love – I am particularly eyeing the backpack. All of Turvey’s sketches bear striking similarities to my favorite portrait artist, German-born photographer Thomas Ruff. Ruff’s subjects prove awkwardness can absolutely be beautiful. One day I dream of displaying one of these wonderfully uncomfortable shots in my home but until then, a Turvey piece hanging in my closet will be just fine.

Turvey x Ruff
Portraits by Thomas Ruff

Coming in a close second is Mary Katrantzou for her amazing Candida Höfer-inspired dresses. Although Katrantzou has been around for a few seasons now, I can still remember first spotting her wildly whimsical pieces at Colette a few years back. To date, her dining room series is still my favorite, but no matter what theme each season brings there is always an ode to Höfer’s symmetrical prints. Höfer is a German-based photographer known for her works of elaborate interiors. Both women’s use of balanced lines, depth and color make them the perfect European pair.

Shop Mary Katrantzou at Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter.

Katrantzou x Höfer
Candida Höfer’s Convento San Francisco de Val de Dios Santiago de Compostela I, 2010 and Mary Katrantzou FW12

Katrantzou x Höfer
Mary Katrantzou SS11 and Candida Höfer’s Masonic Temple Philadelphia I, 2007

Katrantzou x Höfer
Candida Höfer’s Bibliotheque Nationale de France and Mary Katrantzou FW12

Katrantzou x Höfer
Mary Katrantzou SS11 and Candida Höfer’s Palazzo Medici-Ricarrdi Firenze I, 2008

Katrantzou x Höfer
Mary Katrantzou FW12 and Candida Höfer’s Brooklyn Museum of Art IV, 2001

Katrantzou x Höfer
Mary Katrantzou FW12 and Candida Höfer’s Dia. Beacon New York II, 2006

Katrantzou x Höfer
Candida Höfer’s San Martino Napoli I, 2009 and Mary Katrantzou SS11

Just behind Turvey and Katrantzou is fellow Brit J.W. Anderson with the bronze. Anderson’s mod pre-fall collection must find a place in everyone’s autumn wardrobe, particularly those amazing sweaters of his. Everything from the colors to the clean lines in his color-blocking reminds me of the work of yet another Berlin-born artist, Daniel Pflumm. Pflumm’s minimalist light-boxes are part of his Censored Logo series produced in the late 90s. These pieces challenge the authority of corporate identity just as Anderson’s simple designs prove that chic needs no logo.

Shop J.W. Anderson on Net-a-Porter.

Anderson x Pflumm
J.W. Anderson Pre-fall 2012

Anderson x Pflumm
Light boxes by Daniel Pflumm and sweaters by J.W. Anderson

Ellis Gallagher for Tiffany Soho

I can still recall almost ten years ago when Louis Vuitton’s now flagship store on the Champs-Elysées was, at the time, a massive monogram trunk. A part of me was hoping the LV panels would never come down but since the store’s opening, countless other fashion houses have hopped on the designer scaffolding bandwagon. We now live in an age where there is as much talk about the outside of a store under construction as what is opening in the space. Take the recent dropping of Yves to just Saint Laurent at the brand’s future Mercer storefront which has garnered nearly as must buzz as Heid’s much anticipated debut runway collection. But alas, Tiffany has revolutionized the world of scaffolding once again in the weeks leading up to their long awaited return to Soho; the neighborhood where the brand began almost 175 years ago.

Rather than shielding their new store from the public by way of a massive Tiffany Blue box, the luxury brand has taken an even more artistic approach to construction. Tiffany has partnered with four contemporary artists to decorate the outside of the storefront prior to their September opening. Each artist has been given the theme True Love as inspiration as well as two weeks to install and show how they interpret the meaning of love. Danielle Dimston was the first to show on July 16th and Ellis Gallagher came shortly after on July 27th. Gallagher’s work is still on display but will be replaced on August 8th by Danny Roberts and the final artist in the rotation is Natasha Law on August 17th. Head to Tiffany Soho – 97 Greene Street – to see it all in person and maybe catch a glimpse of an artist in action.

Ellis Gallagher
Ellis Gallagher At Work

Danielle Dimston
Danielle Dimston for Tiffany Soho

Danny Roberts
All work by Danny Roberts

Natasha Law
All work by Natasha Law

Let's Play

It is no secret I am a huge fan of Rei Kawakubo and the entire Comme des Garçons empire. Her FW12 collection was nothing short of perfection so imagine my excitement when discovering this weekend that a few pieces, like the looks shown above, are now available for purchase on Barneys New York.com!

Rei is so inspiring, in large part, because of her artistic vision. Comme has worked with incredible artists in the past like Ai Weiwei, Eli Sudbrack, Quay Brothers, and Cindy Sherman (pictured below), yet Kawakubo’s most celebrated collaboration to date came with the launch of PLAY by Comme des Garçons in 2002.

Lets Play
Cindy Sherman for Comme des Garçons, 1994

Thanks to artist Filip Pagowski’s logo, PLAY has amassed a cult-like following similar to that of Polo circa the 1980’s. The small street-wear line has grown immensely in the past decade, making it increasingly difficult to find a piece in my closet without two perfectly inward-slanting eyes.

Lets Play
PLAY by Comme des Garçons logo designed by Filip Pagowski

I typically loathe a logo, preferring my clothes to only reveal their make on the inside tag, but, there is something about Pagowski’s whimsical design granting it an exception. I am a bit of a striped shirt snob and since discovering the perfectly aligned horizontal pattern on Kawakubo’s shirts I have hardly looked back. Find my favorite striped top and all the PLAY basics (shown below) on Farfetch.com.

Lets Play
All PLAY by Comme des Garçons

Sugimoto x Hermes I
Sugimoto x Hermes

Two very exciting fashion house-artist collaborations have been recently announced. The featured artists in both instances, Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton and Hiroshi Sugimoto for Hermes, originally come from the Far East.

Marc Jacobs, arguably the most influential man in the fashion world, can be credited for introducing the works of various contemporary artists to the consumer market through luxury goods. In the past, Louis Vuitton has done large-scale collaborations with artists such as Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, and Richard Prince. Kusama, who has previously outfitted a Louis Vuitton bag in her trademark dots, as seen in the Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton documentary, will now transform an entire collection of clothing, accessories and leather goods with her endless spots – pictured below.

Kusama x LV II
Kusama x Louis Vuitton

Kusama x LV
Kusama x Louis Vuitton

Not only do Marc’s collaborations excite both the fashion world and consumers, they are in turn inspirational to fellow artists. Take street artist Zevs, who applied his drip technique to Murakami’s Louis Vuitton logo design for his Liquidated Version show in 2011…

Photographer Luis Gispert also used two of Jacobs’ previous LV collaborations – Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami – in his Decepción series of pimped-out car interiors…

Gispert Sprouse
Stephen Sprouse x Louis Vuitton interior

Gispert Murakami
Takashi Murakami x Louis Vuitton interior

Comparisons to Murakami’s work can even be made when looking at Kusama’s rainbow dot series…

Kusama Rainbow

I look forward to passing endless rows of street vendors in the city later this summer to see Kusama’s dotted bags scattered amongst other LV monograms. The first of Kusama’s capsule collections for Louis Vuitton is set to hit stores on July 10 and the second, of primarily leather goods, will be available in October.

Sugimoto x Hermes II
Hiroshi Sugimoto x Hermes

More recently than the Kusama collaboration, Hermes announced an exciting partnership with Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Sugimoto is famous for his colorful Polaroids which Hermes will print on large silk scarves. While one typically associates scarves with keeping you warm in the cold winter months, Hermes’ decision to market the pieces as art as opposed to fashion is a smart one, considering they’re said to retail for just shy of $9,000. The collection of 20 different images will be called Colors of Shadows and are part of the Hermes Editeur series.

Sugimoto x Hermes III

I especially love Sugimoto’s images because they look like modernized versions of works by one of my favorite artists, Mark Rothko.

Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko’s White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) – 1950